Hi there fellows,
I write here with some some feature requests for a future release, assuming they aren't already in the pipeline. As a background, myself and a couple of work mates have 2 primative carpc setups installed in company vehicles (eeepc's to oem display with touch panels stuck on). The vehicles get a lot of use (we drive journos around the area with waiting between trips). Some of the chaps are quite fond of the features, we were originally using OM for the media player but we probably use Micks fronend more than anything else now (since we installed DAB radio). It's layout and general design is pretty perfect for old fellows like us. There have been however a few ideas over time - I'll attempt to get them all down for your consideration.
1. A quick menu / drivers menu (you might call it an OEM style menu) - a menu with basic features but mainly displaying a clock, receive radio/media telemetry with scrolling RDS and basic quick functions and menus for multimedia (say select favorites/playlists, toggle radio/media player, select GPS / phone contacts). It wouldn't replace the main menu but would suppliment it - perhaps a sliding window transition via the touch screen when choosing between quick and main menu. The reason for the request - simplicity while driving (plus avoiding questions by police and passengers for example) - it would for the most part look oem. You might have it as an option linked to the GPS so when the vehicle is in motion it would timeout from the main menu into the quick menu as the default. I've attached a screen from one of other company cars that most of us agree is the one we'd like to see.\
I've annoted one of the screens so hopefully it makes it a little clearer what I'm getting at. I forgot in my notes - the box on the bottom left showing radio band would alternatively display album art in mp3.
Other ideas -
2. A callendar / alarm selected by pressing the clock icon - clock could be used to schedule a radio station programme and jump to that station when a screen popup is pressed. Nothing worse when you're listening to MP3's on your way hope and miss the traffic report from a station you wouldn't otherwise listen to for the music (you know the ones). The callendar - linked the the alarm clock for reoccurring alarms and why not link it to the gps - distance travelled logged for things like scheduled servicing or filling lpg tanks ahead of time. It's nice to get a reminder if you're just borrowing a car.
3. Context menu's linked to smart phone. Old smart phones are everywhere and could be a good alternative to hard wiring buttons (which are nice to have because they unclutter screens) and keyboard remotes. So you'd get a specific remote and menus appear on your smart phone depending which menu or application your using - see media controls in MP3 (and as a touch mouse to scroll through lists), choose favorites stations, change band and frequency keyboard for radio, keyboard for gps etc. I've seen android remote apps about but I'm not sure they can automatically and individually be chosen on a bluetooth signal.
I could expand on further descriptions but I wouldn't want to waste anyones time if the current vision is going in a different direction. Think about it please, I don't believe anything else out there is doing it??